How to fix an Apple iPhone 6s that gets stuck on headphone mode? [Troubleshooting Guide]

You are certain that no headphone is plugged in but your iPhone 6s appears to be stuck on headphone mode. As you press the Volume buttons you hear no sound from your iPhone and see a “headphones” label above the volume slider. What could have caused such things to occur on your iPhone and what are your options to get rid of this err?

Something must have triggered your iPhone to mistakenly act as if headphones or earbuds are plugged in and now it is stuck on that mode. If you’ve bumped into this posting while seeking for some answers to the same questions, then this content might be able to help. Read on to learn the possible causes and potential solutions.

But before we jump right into our troubleshooting, if you have other issues with your iPhone, make sure you drop by our troubleshooting page because we’ve already addressed a lot of issues reported by our readers. Find issues that are similar with yours and use the solutions we suggested. If they don’t work for you or if you need more help, fill up our iPhone problems questionnaire and give us more accurate information about your problem so we can give you the best solution.

Why does your iPhone 6s get stuck on headphone mode?

There are two possible reasons as to why your iPhone 6s suddenly gets stuck on headphone mode. It could be an indication of hardware damage or symptom of software malfunctions or glitches. You can say that it is probably a software issue if it happens all of a sudden and that you are certain that your iPhone is totally free from any sort of hardware damage. There are things you can try to fix the problem on your end if you believe it is software-related. However if you suspect that a faulty hardware or iPhone component is to blame, you can save time and effort by taking your device straight to an authorized service center for further hardware assessment and/or repair, if necessary.

Problems like this can be tagged among other hardware-related issues on the iPhone especially if there were previous instances of dropping or accidental fall, and liquid exposure on the iPhone. In most cases, the problem is with the headphone jack itself.  

Meanwhile, it can be considered among other software issues on the iPhone if the problem started right after making some changes on the device software like adding new apps, changing apps settings, as well as installing new updates to apps or iOS.

Potential Solutions and Workarounds

Highlighted below are a few workarounds and generic solutions you can use to attempt to fix your iPhone 6s that gets stuck on headphone mode. These methods can likely rectify the problem given that the underlying cause is within the iPhone’s software layer. Be sure to test your device after completing each method to determine whether the problem has already been resolved, otherwise, try the next applicable solutions.

First Solution: Soft reset/Force restart

You may have done it already but give it another try and then see what happens this time around. Should a software bug or glitch triggered your iPhone 6s to get stuck on headphone mode, a soft reset can likely get it rectified. Here’s how a soft reset is properly done on the iPhone 6s:

  1. Press and hold the Power (Sleep/Wake) button until the slider appears.
  2. Drag the slider to completely power off your iPhone.
  3. Wait for about 30 seconds.
  4. After the elapsed time, press and hold the Power button again until the Apple logo appears. Your iPhone will then reboot.

If your iPhone 6s suddenly gets stuck on headphone mode and the screen gets unresponsive, you can do a force restart on your device instead.

  • To force restart, press and hold the Power (Sleep/Wake) button and the Home button simultaneously then release both buttons when the Apple logo appears. Wait until your iPhone reboots completely and then see if it already goes back to normal mode.

Both are deemed simple yet very effective methods to rectify minor software glitches occurring in your mobile device. These methods as are likewise considered safe as they won’t affect any data on your device.

Second solution: Verify and ensure your iPhone 6s sound settings are properly configured.

If the problem started after installing an update to apps or iOS, it is possible that the update has automatically reset some of your iPhone settings including those that are associated with the sound or audio functions. To rule this out from the possible causes, verify your iPhone settings.

  • To do so, go to Settings-> Sounds & Haptics-> then select Ringtone if necessary. Try to use different ringtones to see if your iPhone speakers and sound work.

Other settings or options you may consider checking on your iPhone 6s is Accessibility. Under Accessibility menu, there is an option called Call Audio Routing. It is settings option used to determine where the audio is heard during phone calls and FaceTime audio calls. Setting this option to Automatic might be able to help.

  • To access and configure this option, go to Settings-> General-> Accessibility-> then scroll down to Interaction section-> tap Call Audio Routing and finally, select Automatic among the given options. If it is already set to Automatic, try setting it to Speaker and see if your speaker works by placing a call or FaceTime audio call on your iPhone. If the speaker works fine, go back to settings and set this option back to Automatic.

You may also consider trying Airplane mode trick. Just turn Airplane mode on for about 1-2 minutes and then turn it off again.

  • To do so, go to Settings-> Airplane mode-> then toggle the switch to turn the feature on and off.

Try to check if your iPhone speakers work when Airplane mode is on and when it’s off again.

Other Unofficial  Solutions and Tricks for you to consider (Optional)

Please note that the subsequent workarounds are not recommended by Apple. You may proceed and give them a shot at your own risks. Nevertheless, these methods were able to help other iPhone users who have dealt with the same problem before.

If your iPhone 6s is still stuck on headphones mode after performing the aforementioned procedures, there is a higher chance that what you are dealing with is a hardware problem with your iPhone. At this point, you may consider two possibilities including a damaged headphone jack or debris stuck inside the headphone jack.

To eliminate the possibility about something gets stuck in the headphone jack, grab a flashlight and shine it inside your iPhone’s headphone jack to see whether there is any debris stuck inside. If you see something is stuck, try to extract it from your iPhone’s headphone jack. But getting this done is extremely difficult. Even Apple technicians won’t dare to do so to prevent causing any damage to the headphone jack but if you are willing to take the risk because you think that you really have nothing to lose, then you may consider doing so. Some who tried have succeeded but others were not. Just do it with care.

  • Use the BIC Pen to remove any debris from your iPhone’s headphone jack. Follow these steps:
    • Get your BIC pen ready. You can use a standard BIC pen for this matter.
    • Remove the cap from the BIC pen.
    • Get some pliers to pull the pen tip away the plastic housing. The tip is attached to a circular plastic cartridge containing the ink.
    • Use the opposite end of the cartridge as it is the perfect size to remove any debris from your iPhone’s headphone jack.
    • Carefully insert that end into the headphone jack.
    • When it’s inserted, gently twist it to loosen the debris and then shake it out of your iPhone.

Be careful not to press to hard to prevent causing any damage to your iPhone headphone jack.

  • Use compressed air to blow air straight into your phone’s headphone jack. You may consider using this option if you don’t know exactly what’s stuck inside your iPhone’s headphone jack. The compressed air can help loosen debris just enough for you to shake it out or blow it out completely from the jack. Be careful not to stick the hose all the way into your iPhone’s headphone jack. To make sure you’re doing the right thing, start from the outside of your iPhone and work your way in.
  • Use thin tweezers to pull any debris out of your iPhone’s headphone jack. Some tweezers are really thin that can reach just far enough inside the headphone jack of your iPhone. But doing so is risky as it can easily damage the sides of the headphone jack when you shove the tweezers in too far.
  • Dismantle your iPhone. One last option (not recommended) that you may consider trying is disassembling the iPhone and extract the debris out from the underneath of the headphone jack. This is only for tech-savvy people though.

Take your iPhone to a Technician

If you’ve tried everything but your iPhone 6s is still stuck on headphone mode, then at this point you should already consider seeking a technician’s aid. It is now very possible that your iPhone has physical or liquid damage and that there is a good chance your iPhone needs to be repaired. Most of those who have encountered similar issues wherein the iPhone gets stuck on headphone mode have found that a liquid damage has triggered it. Given that the headphone jack is among the only openings on the outside of the iPhone, it makes it very susceptible to water damage.

Another possibility is that the headphone jack might have been loose or gets pulled away from the logic board. This is possible if your iPhone happened to fall.

You can also contact Apple Support or your carrier for other options. You might as well consider getting an upgrade to the latest iPhone 8 or iPhone 8 Plus should you be eligible for it.

Connect with us

If you have other problems with your iOS device including iPhone 6s, you may visit our Troubleshooting Page or complete and submit this form to get further assistance from our support team. Just be sure to provide us with all necessary information, such as your iOS device model, as well as more details about the issue you have with your device. For example, when did the problem start to occur or what you did before the problem shows. This way, it would be easier for us to determine the main cause(s) and help you towards finding the best possible solution available.

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